Hee-Hawing V.F.W. Donkeys
Deep Fried Bottom Feeder
Over the weekend, we visited quaint little Marble Falls, Texas and dined at http://www.rivercitygrilletx.com/, a lovely restaurant overlooking Lake Marble Falls.
All Aboard For Summer Vacation!
Truck Stop Weary, Numero Quatro
Hands down, this is the guy. This is the guy you want leaning intimately into you, inviting you to be in cahoots with him, to share the secrets he’s learned on the road.
Forgive me. I was premature in my assumption. THIS is the guy.
Yes, the one with the mutton chops, driving his Rebel Flag-decked out Bandit up to California. Is he sucking a Lemonhead? Is he dipping Skoal? He’s a man of mystery. I just feel a strong sense of… Gary Sandy surrounding him. Yes, that’s it. He must be related to Gary Sandy. You know, Andy Travis from WKRP?
Whoa. Is it hot in here? I’m feeling faint, and it’s not a touch of Johnny Fever. Believe me. Okay, time to refocus. Surely, there’s some trucker in this book who can compete with an aging sitcom star.
Um. No. That is NOT the ticket. Perhaps this young fella?
His head says Yankee, but his body says Confederacy. Who has time for a cocksure whippersnapper with an identity complex? Not me. I haven’t got time for the pain. Okay, let’s spin the wheel. Surely there’s SOMEONE.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHH! Make it stop!
Truck Stop Weary, Numero Tres
Wayne is caught up in the ambiance that IS a Pennsylvania truck stop. So filled with anticipation is he of this new day, that he could barely push his hat down on his head. And who could blame him? Just walking into this charming lounge would brighten anyone’s day.
Across this great nation of ours, other truckers speedily consume their meals, rejoicing at the prospect of what the road will offer. George can barely contain himself.
Harlan is busting at the seams. As soon as he finishes this cigarette, it’s out of the comfort of this red booth and into the luxury of the big rig.
Young Buck, Jr is positively stoked to be spending the day with Buck, Sr, rolling across the wide open spaces of Wyoming, counting bug corpses as they splatter on the windshield.
Dick shares a glance with Kevin, a glance that conveys what words never could. Finish up your pie there, son, and let’s hit the road. Back to the snow and the relentless wind. We don’t get paid to sit. Well, technically, we DO, but you know what I mean.
Truck Stop Weary, Numero Dos
I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it. Seriously. I convey this both in my posture and my expression, which exude a certain joie de vivre.
All ye men in trucker caps, dig through your cab until you find the mix tape with “Eye of the Tiger” and “Don’t Stop Believing” and play the bejesus out of it until you get your heads on right.
These pics aren’t even from the same STATE, but it looks like the same place, the same hopeless truck stop, filled with men filled with defeat. Seriously, brothers–y’all got to start listening to some Joel Osteen or something. Here, I’ll get you started:
I’m the head and not the tail.
I’m more than a conqueror.
I’m the victor and not the victim.
And just in case you can’t find that mix tape, here’s Jerry Reed’s inspirational “East Bound and Down”:
Truck Stop Weary, Numero Uno
He may be young, but he’s hardly fresh. With no woman to put his arm around, he chooses the coin-operated TV, with a screen smaller than a Kindle. It’s 2am, and he just filled up the tank of his 18-wheeler. At $3.50 per gallon of diesel fuel, and a 300 gallon tank, that was about a grand. But don’t worry; he gets 5.5 miles per gallon. Excuse me? No wonder he looks miffed.
Sally just took his order, and will be right back to top off his coffee. He hasn’t exercised in
weeks years, he spends all day hunched over the wheel, and he neglected to take his multivitamin this morning. But do you think he ordered the Cobb Salad? No, sir. Would you order the Cobb Salad if you just spent an hour adjusting your rear tandems because the moron who loaded your truck put all the weight in the back? I didn’t think so. He ordered the fried beige basket–you know, filled with french fries and fried meat, with a side of toast and gravy–the kind that keeps Dairy Queen (and cardiologists) in business.
Dang, I picked the wrong day to fast.
Now can we just talk about that enchanting clock for a sec? Some mastercraftsman took a piece of wood and rendered an awesome image, and if Billy weren’t so damn jaded, he’d turn around and recognize. Maybe he needs a little Savior’s hand on his left shoulder. What do you think, Billy?
There’s a place not far from here. Get your bearings, get a message. They’ll set you straight.
The Poor Man’s Six Flags
Today I showcase a fascinating assortment of another favorite picture book of mine, In Search of the Corn Queen. In it, Greta Pratt shares pictures of various county fairs in the American Midwest. Some are hopeful; some are hopeless. But all are a window into small town celebration.
This one gives me a glimpse of that adolescent excitement over what could be, with the whole world laid out before you, an endless possibility.
Like I said, boy, all you gotta do is pop 10 balloons to win those skateboards on the wall. It’s a piece of cake. Would I steer you wrong?
Drench the volleyball coach!
Dang, I thought I was hot, but she’ll totally be hotter than me in ten years, when I’m like, ancient or something.
I learned it from watching you, Dad.
No, that’s cool. You just sit in your overalls on the tailgate, and I’ll hold our wriggling young’un and try to down this cup of Mad Dog before I get pregnant again.
High point of the afternoon; winning bundt cake in the last round of the cake walk.
Good clean fun or a gateway to Spring Break mud wrestling?
Two tickets for a dollar, six tickets per ride, means three dollars for the ferris wheel, or I could just blow it all on a Fanta and funnel cake. What to do? What to do?
No, I am absolutely not living vicariously through my grandbaby.
Oh, yeah, life goes on. Long after the thrill of living is gone.
Almost Cute Enough To Make Me Vegan. Almost.
Spring Has Sprung
“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
― William Shakespeare
Does That Star-Spangled Banner Yet Wave?
Every adult American remembers where he or she was on 9/11. What you may not recall is that the following Friday was deemed a day of patriotism, and citizens were encouraged to wear their red, white, and blue to show support for all who had perished in the attacks. That day, I took my camera and two rolls (yes, rolls) of film and drove around the county, snapping photos of homes that had otherwise never flown flags in their yards, of cars and trucks and humans decorated in American colors, and it made my heart swell to see such pride.
It wasn’t a common enemy that we shared; it was the mutual sense of loss, that life as we knew it was over, and even the young ones who had never experienced a world war or the Cold War knew that the security we had always known was gone forever. People who didn’t know us wanted to kill us on our own soil, and they didn’t mind losing their own lives in the process. And we didn’t get it. Who would serve a “god” that wanted them to kill strangers? And why kill innocent civilians instead of soldiers, prepared for war? Who was the Taliban? It was sick and evil, and so were the men who perpetrated it.
But on that day, the Walmart, the Tractor Supply–all stores big and small–sported flags. Now if you don’t live in America, you might think they always have flags up. They don’t. That’s because Americans aren’t allowed to feel pride. Every nation’s peoples should have the right to feel proud of the land where they were born. But not us. We’re supposed to feel guilty for every wrong ever perpetuated in the last two hundred years, nevermind any victory in a world war. Nevermind that we donate billions in aid to other countries, including ones that despise us. No, we’re not perfect, but our land is not full of hate, of people who seek to destroy other nations. This is a land with a history of welcoming immigrants who have been persecuted by their own people.
But on that Friday, we didn’t have to apologize for being born American. It was even permissible to have faith.
What I don’t get is how brief that period of patriotism lasted, how quickly people reverted to their own lives, how little unity meant. No, these pictures aren’t World Trade Center passersby, covered in ash, and they aren’t pictures of planes plowing into buildings. They are just a window in time during that one week in a small town, where it was “allowable” to mention God, allowable to love the United States, and every soul felt the tangible sadness of the tragedy, from large home to small.
From barbeque marquis to cardboard signs…
from lamppost to balloon…
from lumber store to hardware store…
and of course, churches.
I spotted this woman in the Walmart parking lot.
And as the sun set that day, I saw gratitude for all of our veterans, young and old, and Todd Beamer’s immortal words “let’s roll.”
Twelve years later, I still give thanks for freedom and for all our veterans. It doesn’t matter if it’s Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day or the Fourth of July. Or just plain old April 13th. God bless America.